A tautly paced and multifaceted tale of humanity and the power of compassion…
Mason’s moving WWII novel takes place in the past and the present, as a once-idealistic biotech CEO stumbles into a seventy-four-year-old mystery that connects her to her lost past and changes her future forever. The chance discovery of a small piece of corroded metal beneath the surface of a Norwegian glacier sets things in motion, and the ensuing government of Canada investigation leads to identification of a Royal Canadian Air Force combat plane that vanished in 1945. When Seattle-based biotech executive Allison Wiley learns that her long-lost grandfather Squadron Leader Jack Barton’s missing plane has been found, she joins investigator Scott Wilcox in a quest to discover the truth about its disappearance. What she uncovers is something far beyond her imagination.
The story is at its most powerful when Mason weaves in a young child’s harrowing experiences in a Nazi research facility. Through the child’s straightforward account of her sufferings, he reveals, as if in a deposition, the shock of unimaginable physical and mental trauma. The plotline involving the child heightens the tension, keeping the reader thoroughly invested in the story. And though Jack Barton is one of the main protagonists in the story and plays a significant role, it’s Major Gunther Graf, a Luftwaffe fighter pilot, who steals the show: he remains a kindly but enigmatic figure throughout the book.
Mason not only portrays the tormenting journeys of Nazi prisoners, but also focuses on the tests that ordinary German officers under Hitler’s rule faced during the war. Gunther’s position offers him a level of authority and protection, but it doesn’t provide him with a shield against evil and trauma. Mason balances the carnage, killing, and fear of war with acts of bravery and compassion, and poignantly renders the quietly courageous and humane German officer. He weaves the characters’ backstories, their individual insecurities, fears, and hopes into a moving narrative that takes the reader through the dangers fighter pilots faced in aerial combat over WWII Europe, and delves into the unspeakable horrors that victims of Nazi camps endured. In this poignant story, Mason has deftly threaded together a gripping adventure, a history lesson, and a cautionary tale of loss, redemption, and humanity.
EO-N: A novel
By Dave Mason
Pub date October 1, 2020
Price $16.99 (USD) Paperback